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Malayalam Film Ottal Wins Big At 20th IFFK

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The 20th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFK) concluded on December 11, Friday. Director R. Jayaraj’s Malayalam film ‘Ottal‘ swept all the top awards, including the audience poll award, at the festival. Ottal, a film that focuses on a boy’s relationship with his grandfather, had also won this year’s National Award for the best environment film.

Kerala Governor Justice P. Sathasivam (retd) awarded the coveted Suvarna Chakoram, the Best Film of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) jury, the Best Malayalam film of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) jury and the audience poll. The Suvarna Chakoram includes Rs.15 lakh cash award, certificate and memento.

According to a The Hindu report, a photograph that was published in the newspaper in August, last year, inspired Jayaraj to make Ottal. The photograph, which was clicked by The Hindu ’s Guwahati-based Special News Photographer Ritu Raj Konwar, shows a young boy taking his goats on a banana raft to a safe place in the flood-affected Morigaon district of Assam. Jayaraj told The Hindu that he adapted Anton Chekhov’s famous short story Vanka in such a way that the boy, the water, the animals and the raft could all be shot.

The Rajatha Chakoram for Best Director at the IFFK was awarded to Jun Robles Lana for the Filipino film ‘Shadow Behind the Moon‘. It consists of a cash award of Rs.4 lakh, certificate and memento. The Rajatha Chakoram for Best Debut Director was awarded to Bangladeshs’ director Abu Shahed Emon for ‘Jalal’s Story‘. It consists of a cash award of Rs.3 lakh, a certificate and a memento. The FIPRESI award for best Malayalam film was won by Sanalkumar Sasidharan’s Ozhivu Divasathe Kali (An Offday Game).

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